It’s Mental Health Awareness Week so we have created a guide on all the help and support available at University of Liverpool

Here’s a guide on the services available for students

From 14th-20th May 2018 a whole week has been dedicated to raising awareness for mental health across the UK. We wanted to embrace this week and give you some guidance on the support available to you across campus and Liverpool if you are in need of help and support.

Every year the week takes on a different theme and this year the theme is 'Stress'. Although, stress is not a mental health problem within itself it is important to highlight that it can lead to a wide range of mental health problems including depression and anxiety. This theme is especially important this year for us as students; we are about to enter two of the most stressful weeks of the entire academic year – exams! It is important you understand that you are not alone and people want to support you!

Friends Friends Friends!

Friends are amazing people, they are there throughout your greatest life moments; they are there to share your highs but they are also there to support you through your lows. It is important that you don't lock yourself away from your friends as they are here to help you; instead of locking yourself in your room on a bad day ask your friend if they want to go for a walk around Sefton Park or go for a bit of shopping in town. Getting out the house and having fun with your friends will help you feel better and make you understand that you are not alone and they are there to love and support you. Don't cut yourself off, it will only make you feel worse.

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Friends are there for us! Always.

Support available on campus

There is a wide range of support available on campus for people who need help. We spoke to the Karen Sheehan, Head of Counselling and Mental Health Advisory Service at the university to find out about the support available to students on campus.

"We can offer support through workshops, guided self-help and through one to one sessions. We would also suggest consulting a GP as soon as possible for advice and support if a student is experiencing difficulties with mood and wellbeing (e.g. anxiety or depression).

We also run a Drop-In Service which is available between 10am-11am, Monday to Friday (except Wednesday when it runs between 11am -12 noon). For male students there is also a Men’s Space Drop-In, offered by a male counsellor and operates on Tuesday afternoons between 2pm-3pm."

The student support office is located in the university square. The main entrance to the Counselling Service is located at 14 Oxford Street, opposite the row of banks and shops, building 436, grid reference C4 on the campus map.

Karen also recommended online facilities for students to utilise including 'Space from Stress' a course with over 7 modules to help students identify, understand and manage stress. It helps to develop skills including stress management, communication and relationships and self-esteem and resilience. The university also offer relaxation downloads that include one on helping students to sleep.

Other support available

Outside of university hours it is important for students to understand that support is always available for them if they need it. The Samaritans offer free and confidential 24/7 helpline to support people experiencing difficulties or who need crisis support. They can be contacted on 116 123 for free.

The Liverpool Light is new centre providing mental health crisis support 7 days per week. The service enables self-care resilience in lieu of admission to A&E, providing a specialised service outside of GP and day service hours. The aim of this service is to reduce potential hospital admissions and ensuring clients have a safe and secure environment to prevent escalation. It is based close to campus at 181-185 London Road, Liverpool L3 8JG.

Obviously, for crisis issues when support is required immediately, do not hesitate to contact your local Accident & Emergency department. In Liverpool, go to the A&E in the Royal Liverpool University Hospital and ask to speak to a member of the Mental Health Liaison Team, opened 24/7. There is a whole range of support for students across campus and Liverpool, it is important that people understand they are not alone and people are all around to support you. It is also important for people to understand that mental health issues are not always visible and that people often suffer in silence, it is important that we are all there to support our friends and look out for any possible signs of issues.

Let's celebrate mental health awareness week and increase awareness support for us and the people we love around us. However let's not stop here, we need to understand that mental health issues are an everyday occurrence and show support towards the people around us all year round.